Maternity, Postpartum Care and Mental Health Support

Pregnancy and becoming a mother is thought to be among the happiest time of a woman’s life. Still, as many as 20% of new mothers will develop a mental illness during pregnancy or up to 12 months after giving birth often with onset of feelings of being overwhelmed, distressed and unable to cope.

Below we’ve included a few general links to information about Postpartum Care and Mental Health issues:

Postpartum Care

Best Start: Ontario’s Maternal Newborn and Early Resource Centre –
Breastfeeding: A Perfect Latch video to learn the basics about positioning and latching your baby for breastfeeding
Breastfeeding Instructional Videos (Region of Peel)
Breastfeeding Resources in the GTA (list)
Breastfeeding (Toronto Public Health)
Milk Bank: The Rogers Hixon Ontario Human Milk Bank is a non-profit organization and a joint initiative of area Hospitals, pasteurizing and distributing donated human milk
Register your newborn baby (Service Ontario)

Postpartum Mood Disorders - MOTHERS

Depression and anxiety are real illnesses that can happen at any time during pregnancy. You may have feelings of emptiness or sadness. Sometimes these unhappy feelings become so difficult that you may feel overwhelmed, or may even have difficulty accepting your pregnancy.

Signs and Symptoms

Talk with your doctor or nurse if you experience any of these signs:


1.  Sadness (irritable, crying more than usual, anxious or feeling uneasy)
2.  Not able to enjoy life
3.  Changes in weight and appetite (beyond what is normal for pregnancy)
4.  Changes in sleep (hard time falling asleep, waking up or staying asleep, unable to sleep when tired)
5.  Tired even after sleeping or resting
6.  Difficult to concentrate or make decisions
7.  Thoughts of death or suicide
8.  Feeling not worthy, guilty or like you want to run away


These feelings may come and go throughout your pregnancy and may be ignored and seen as part of pregnancy changes. It is also important for family members, such as partners and caregivers to be aware of the signs of depression and ways they can help you.

Help is available:

Postpartum Depression (Canadian Mental Health Association) – 416-338-7600
Postpartum Depression & Anxiety (Toronto Public Health )
City of Toronto Postpartum Depression and Anxiety Support
Postpartum Support International
Peel Region Postpartum Mood disorder resources
Postpartum Progress – blog to provide peer-to-peer support for women suffering from perinatal mental health issues
Pregnancy & Infant Loss Network

Father's Coping

Postpartum Men is a place for men with concerns about depression, anxiety or other problems with mood after the birth of a child. The website promotes self-help, provides important information for fathers – including a self-assessment for postpartum depression – hosts an online forum for dads to talk to each other, offers resources, gathers new information about men’s experiences postpartum, and – most importantly – helps fathers to beat the baby blues.


USA Today Article on Paternal Postpartum Mood Disorders
Everyday Health explains how research shows that sad dads may be even more common than once thought.
New Daddy Duldroms by Amy Levi-Epstein writes about how a father’s depression can also have a negative impact on the child’s emotional and behavioural development.

View this poignant – and ultimately, hopeful – movie about men's depression.

Take the Postpartum Mood Disorder Self Test

If your partner is depressed, there’s a good chance you are too. Up to half of men whose partners have postpartum depression are depressed themselves.


Self Assessments


The following assessments will help you determine whether you might have PPND. It’s called the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale – or the EPDS, for short. It is the most widely used assessment for postpartum depression and anxiety. It has been tested and found effective.


If your total score is 11 or more, you could be experiencing postpartum depression (PPD) or anxiety. PLEASE CALL YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER (OB/Gyn, family doctor or nurse/midwife) now to keep you and your baby safe.


If your total score is 9-10, we suggest you repeat this test in one week or call your health care provider (OB/Gyn, family doctor or nurse-midwife).




Postpartum Depression Test for MOTHERS
Postpartum Depression Test for FATHERS